Church St Germain, St Germain en Laye!

Let me tell you in one post about a nice Church many times overlook even if right smack in a historical part of Royal and historical Saint Germain en Laye, Yvelines dept 78 region of Ïle de France. Near my old home.

Often folks go to the castle and museum across the street, take their RER A and zoom back to Paris. However, this is a historical Church right in there and a must to see in my opinion. Behind the Church you start on city center and loads of shops and restaurants and a wonderful outdoor market. I am talking here about the Church of St Germain, time to give it a bit more credit that so much deserves.

St Germain en laye

St Germain en Laye

Saint-Germain Church. It was called at the beginning of the 18C Saint-Germain-de-Paris. Located in front of the castle, this current Church built in 1824, in a neo-classical style inspired by the Paleo basilicas, was restored from 1848 to 1854. Its facade has a triangular pediment supported by six Tuscan columns, four of which are aligned in front and two in return. The present Church is however closer to Saint-Philippe-du-Roule in Paris.

St GErmain en laye

The present Church is the fourth built on the site. It was built on the site of an ancient Church built in 1683 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and became too small, which replaced a first church of the 14C. The first stone laid on November 20 1766 by the Duke of Noailles: the works were quickly stopped but taken over by the order of Louis XVI at the request of the municipal assembly. The French Revolution provoked the abandonment of the works until 1823, when the construction was restarted, and proceeded to the completion of it in 1827. The new Church was blessed on December 2, 1827 by Jean-François-Étienne Borderies, Bishop of Versailles.

St Germain en laye

Some of the nice things to see inside are:

Benedetto Antelami, Descent of the Cross, 1178, identical to that preserved in the Cathedral of Parma. It was offered to the Church by a family of the city in 1994. Its origin is disputed: It would be a second version made by the artist or a later copy…

Notre-Dame du Bon Retour (Our Lady of the Good Return), 14C, Virgin and the Child discovered in the 19C during the construction work of the Church.

Christ on the Cross, 17C in Baroque style, unknown origin.

Baroque pulpit chair given by king Louis XIV, from the third chapel of the Château de Versailles, abandoned in 1710 to make way for the present chapel of Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte.

Charles-Joseph Natoire, the Baptism of Christ c.1750, originally painted for the chapel of the castle of Machaud d’Arnouville, Minister of king Louis XV. Very close to a first version made in 1747 (now at Museum of Fine Arts of Arras). This painting is the last work painted in France by Natoire, then at the height of its fame, before its definitive departure for Rome.

Honoré Icard, the Hereafter, 1913, grouping in marble.

The Mausoleum of the King of England, James II (Stuart), exiled to France and greeted by his cousin king Louis XIV. He resided and died at the Château de Saint-Germain, where Louis XIV had lived a few decades before.

St Germain en laye

The walls of the nave and the apse are adorned with frescoes by Amaury-Duval, a pupil of Ingres, on the theme of the New Testament. They were completed in 1857.

St Germain en laye

The Grand Organ was commissioned by king Louis XIV to Alexandre Thierry in 1698. Aristide Cavaillon-Coll rebuilt the organ keeping the old part that could be saved. In 1903, Charles Mutin remade the instrument (forty four games), the largest part of the piping of the 18C disappeared. In 1967, the company Haerpfer-Erman performed a restoration and reinstalled the back positive by Mutin. Buffet in 1930 and instrumental part in 1975. The Choir organ was built by Aristide Cavaillon-Coll in 1889.

st germain en laye

A great personality and local boy was Claude Debussy ,French musician born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on August 22, 1862, was baptized at the Église Saint-Germain on July 31, 1864.

Some webpages to fully appreciate this Church of St Germain  and help plan your trip here are

Tourist office of St Germain en Laye

City of St Germain en Laye on heritage

Tourist office of SGL on St Germain Church

The Catholic Parish of SGL on the Church

The Chorus of St Germain Church

The Friends of Old Saint Germain en Laye in French

There you go , do not miss it next time, worth your time there. Wonderful Saint Germain en Laye, many memories especially from the sights just to come to the market for goodies with the family.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

 

 

 

 

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